### Refine

#### Document Type

- Doctoral Thesis (2) (remove)

#### Institute

- Institut für Strukturmechanik (2) (remove)

#### Keywords

- Fracture mechanics (2) (remove)

Polymeric nanocomposites (PNCs) are considered for numerous nanotechnology such as: nano-biotechnology, nano-systems, nanoelectronics, and nano-structured materials. Commonly , they are formed by polymer (epoxy) matrix reinforced with a nanosized filler. The addition of rigid nanofillers to the epoxy matrix has offered great improvements in the fracture toughness without sacrificing other important thermo-mechanical properties. The physics of the fracture in PNCs is rather complicated and is influenced by different parameters. The presence of uncertainty in the predicted output is expected as a result of stochastic variance in the factors affecting the fracture mechanism. Consequently, evaluating the improved fracture toughness in PNCs is a challenging problem.
Artificial neural network (ANN) and adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) have been employed to predict the fracture energy of polymer/particle nanocomposites. The ANN and ANFIS models were constructed, trained, and tested based on a collection of 115 experimental datasets gathered from the literature. The performance evaluation indices of the developed ANN and ANFIS showed relatively small error, with high coefficients of determination (R2), and low root mean square error and mean absolute percentage error.
In the framework for uncertainty quantification of PNCs, a sensitivity analysis (SA) has been conducted to examine the influence of uncertain input parameters on the fracture toughness of polymer/clay nanocomposites (PNCs). The phase-field approach is employed to predict the macroscopic properties of the composite considering six uncertain input parameters. The efficiency, robustness, and repeatability are compared and evaluated comprehensively for five different SA methods.
The Bayesian method is applied to develop a methodology in order to evaluate the performance of different analytical models used in predicting the fracture toughness of polymeric particles nanocomposites. The developed method have considered the model and parameters uncertainties based on different reference data (experimental measurements) gained from the literature. Three analytical models differing in theory and assumptions were examined. The coefficients of variation of the model predictions to the measurements are calculated using the approximated optimal parameter sets. Then, the model selection probability is obtained with respect to the different reference data.
Stochastic finite element modeling is implemented to predict the fracture toughness of polymer/particle nanocomposites. For this purpose, 2D finite element model containing an epoxy matrix and rigid nanoparticles surrounded by an interphase zone is generated. The crack propagation is simulated by the cohesive segments method and phantom nodes. Considering the uncertainties in the input parameters, a polynomial chaos expansion (PCE) surrogate model is construed followed by a sensitivity analysis.

The key objective of this research is to study fracture with a meshfree method, local maximum entropy approximations, and model fracture in thin shell structures with complex geometry and topology. This topic is of high relevance for real-world applications, for example in the automotive industry and in aerospace engineering. The shell structure can be described efficiently by meshless methods which are capable of describing complex shapes as a collection of points instead of a structured mesh. In order to find the appropriate numerical method to achieve this goal, the first part of the work was development of a method based on local maximum entropy (LME)
shape functions together with enrichment functions used in partition of unity methods to discretize problems in linear elastic fracture mechanics. We obtain improved accuracy relative to the standard extended finite element method (XFEM) at a comparable computational cost. In addition, we keep the advantages of the LME shape functions,such as smoothness and non-negativity. We show numerically that optimal convergence (same as in FEM) for energy norm and stress intensity factors can be obtained through the use of geometric (fixed area) enrichment with no special treatment of the nodes
near the crack such as blending or shifting.
As extension of this method to three dimensional problems and complex thin shell structures with arbitrary crack growth is cumbersome, we developed a phase field model for fracture using LME. Phase field models provide a powerful tool to tackle moving interface problems, and have been extensively used in physics and materials science. Phase methods are gaining popularity in a wide set of applications in applied science and engineering, recently a second order phase field approximation for brittle fracture has gathered significant interest in computational fracture such that sharp cracks discontinuities are modeled by a diffusive crack. By minimizing the system energy with respect to the mechanical displacements and the phase-field, subject to an irreversibility condition to avoid crack healing, this model can describe crack nucleation, propagation, branching and merging. One of the main advantages of the phase field modeling of fractures is the unified treatment of the interfacial tracking and mechanics, which potentially leads to simple, robust, scalable computer codes applicable to complex systems. In other words, this approximation reduces considerably the implementation complexity because the numerical tracking of the fracture is not needed, at the expense of a high computational cost. We present a fourth-order phase field model for fracture based on local maximum entropy (LME) approximations. The higher order continuity of the meshfree LME approximation allows to directly solve the fourth-order phase field equations without splitting the fourth-order differential equation into two second order differential equations. Notably, in contrast to previous discretizations that use at least a quadratic basis, only linear completeness is needed in the LME approximation. We show that the crack surface can be captured more accurately in the fourth-order model than the second-order model. Furthermore, less nodes are needed for the fourth-order model to resolve the crack path. Finally, we demonstrate the performance of the proposed meshfree fourth order phase-field formulation for 5 representative numerical examples. Computational results will be compared to analytical solutions within linear elastic fracture mechanics and experimental data for three-dimensional crack propagation.
In the last part of this research, we present a phase-field model for fracture in Kirchoff-Love thin shells using the local maximum-entropy (LME) meshfree method. Since the crack is a natural outcome of the analysis it does not require an explicit representation and tracking, which is advantageous over techniques as the extended finite element method that requires tracking of the crack paths. The geometric description of the shell is based on statistical learning techniques that allow dealing with general point set surfaces avoiding a global parametrization, which can be applied to tackle surfaces of complex geometry and topology. We show the flexibility and robustness of the present methodology for two examples: plate in tension and a set of open connected
pipes.